It was seven innings, three hits, one earned run for Zac Gallen on Monday night.
Just another day in the easiest baseball league in the world.
At least, that’s how it’s seemed for Gallen, a 25-year-old who has had no problem adjusting to the big leagues. In his 20th major league start on Monday, the right-hander brought his career ERA to 2.70 and his season ERA to 2.40. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and continued to pitch as one of the best arms on the staff, despite being one of the least experienced.
Maybe he just has the cool factor.
“My dad would joke around and say that a plane could crash behind the mound and I’d turn around say, ‘Alright, next pitch,’” Gallen told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday.
“I think the biggest thing is just getting comfortable. Last year, everything was just super new, just trying to take in the experiences,” Gallen said. “Not to say I’m not taking in the experiences now. But it’s feeling more like, ‘Alright, this is legit, the debut’s over,’ all the fairy tale and stuff like that. Now it’s down to business. Just being quick on making adjustments, understanding what I have to do better, start-to-start, catch play to catch play, whatever it is, just taking more of a notice of things like that.”
What’s more: The Diamondbacks got Gallen in a trade from the Marlins. It cost them their top prospect, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, but the D-backs have quickly turned a trade piece into this year’s ace of the rotation.
“It’s one of the things that I’ve noticed about him since he’s been here: A mistake or two might be made on his behalf, or maybe he’ll give up a hit, but when he needs to make a pitch, he can stop and slow it down and execute,” manager Torey Lovullo told Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “I saw him do that in Colorado a couple times last year. And I’m thinking, ‘Wow, this is something that might be one of his carry tools that he might be unaware of.’”
Lovullo said early on in the game, he could see Gallen was dialed-in. The medical team told Lovullo they could run Gallen up to 120 pitches maximum if they needed or wanted to.
“Zac went out [Monday] and executed an unbelievable gameplan,” Lovullo said. “He followed it to a tee and he was landing pitches. And it wasn’t just one pitch, it was several that he’s pulling out of his back pocket at any time.I felt like in the third inning that he had no-hit stuff. I even went to our medical team and asked them, ‘Look, where is our comfort level? What is the max pitch count that you guys would allow him?’ I just felt he was that good and I could see that early-on.”